As I was on my flight back to Kansas City a few weeks ago, I stumbled across an article on Daily Fintech. While reading it, I thought, “They get it.”
To briefly recap it, the article identifies some of the root cause(s) of the life insurance decline and how some carriers have painted themselves into a corner, but the author also outlines how we can reverse the decline.
In our upcoming blog series, some of our leaders will individually respond to what the author, Amy Radin, believes is “the path to opportunity.”
Her first, and in my opinion, most important statement is: Clients must be at the center of the strategy.
Our team has been committed to our insurance clients since we entered the life insurance industry, and through our partnerships and belief in the importance of what insurance companies do, we place an uncompromising focus on the applicant experience. With each business decision, we ask ourselves if it will:
- Reduce cycle time
- Facilitate precision
- Improve the applicant experience
Since most applicants who apply for life insurance only do it once or twice in their lifetime, we want to create a positive experience for them — making the process as easy and convenient as possible.
How we do this:
- Convenient screening options: Did you know that laboratory tests are only 3% of healthcare costs, yet 70% of medical decisions are based on laboratory results? We are proud to be the only paramedical company in our industry that offers applicants the convenience of real-time appointment scheduling and a choice between an exam at their home or workplace, or at one of our 700 in-center locations—plus more than 2,000 patient service centers through Quest Diagnostics. In coordination with our parent company,Quest Diagnostics®, we are able to offer the most extensive national network of in-center locations. In fact, 1 in 3 Americans are tested at a Quest Patient Service Center or by a licensed Quest examiner each year. So many of your applicants are probably already familiar with Quest Diagnostics, making the paramedical exam process seem a little less daunting.
- Individualized underwriting: When you are in the market for a new car, you want the best deal, right? When you drive off the car lot, you want to feel like you paid a fair price. And life insurance applicants want the same thing. They don’t want to pay a higher premium that may be based on a group’s mortality risk. They want to pay a price that is based solely on their health. Our team has worked with insurers to analyze their applicant data and help them design individualized underwriting models so each applicant is receiving the best price based on his or her health status. According to the 2016 Barometer survey conducted by LIMRA and Life Happens, the highest share of consumers say they haven’t purchased life insurance because they think it is too expensive. For 36% of the survey respondents, this is a major reason they have not yet purchased life insurance.
- Empowering consumers to understand their own wellness: A few years ago we set out on a mission that would empower applicants to take control of their health. Through this motivation, we designed a website that provides applicants direct access to their laboratory results.* With Inside Look® online, applicants can securely view a complete picture of their laboratory results, expected ranges and test explanations. More than 1.4 million consumers have viewed their life insurance results online through Inside Look.
“I would like you to know how valuable and impacting it is to see one’s test results with the explanations and reference ranges. If doctors utilized this visual tool with patients, I think patients would take more responsibility for their own health, and follow their doctor’s advice. Great process, lots of experience and thought went into this.” Insurance applicant, 2016 survey
While we have seen a growth in life insurance policies this year, our job is not done. We must continue to work together to build our services around the applicants.
And in case you missed it, my recent blog on the fiduciary ruling shares an example of how the financial industry is already making advisors put their clients’ best interest first. Visit our blog again next week as Vice President and Medical Director, Jim Palmier, discusses more on personalizing underwriting.
* Online results are for blood and urine specimens only, and availability is subject to carrier participation. Reports with sensitive results, such as positive HIV or drugs of abuse, are not provided online.
 2016 Insurance Barometer Study, Life Happens and LIMRA